McCanns await libel case ruling

McCanns await libel case ruling

Gerry and Kate McCann will have to wait until next week to find out if a former senior detective has succeeded in overturning the couple's ban on his book after a court hearing in Portugal ended without a decision today.

The pair, from Rothley, travelled to Lisbon as they battle to stop Goncalo Amaral from repeating claims that their missing daughter Madeleine is dead.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the police investigation into the little girl's disappearance from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

In July 2008 he published a book, 'Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie', which alleges that Madeleine died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction.

A judge granted the McCanns a temporary injunction in September last year halting further sale or publication of Mr Amaral's book and a TV documentary he made about the case.

The ex-policeman launched an appeal against the ban at the main civil court in the Portuguese capital Lisbon last month, calling a series of witnesses to support his claims.

The McCanns admitted sitting through the evidence was painful but insisted they were right to bring the case.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday, when two further witnesses gave evidence for Mr Amaral before the lawyers made closing speeches.

At the end of the hearing, which finished at 5.30pm, Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues said she would reserve judgment until February 18, a spokeswoman for the McCanns said.

Outside court, Mr McCann issued a fresh appeal to the Portuguese public for information about Madeleine's disappearance, according to the spokeswoman.

She said Mr and Mrs McCann, both 41, were flying back to the UK.

Mr Amaral's lawyers argue the material in the book is contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public in August 2008.

The McCanns say their main motive for challenging the former policeman is the fear that people will stop looking for Madeleine if they think she is dead.

There will be a full trial at a later date on whether the injunction banning the book should be made permanent.

The McCanns are also seeking €1.2m in compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against Mr Amaral in Portugal.

The former detective has vowed to fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if he loses his case.

More on this topic

Madeleine suspect ‘kept children’s swimwear in mobile home’Madeleine suspect ‘kept children’s swimwear in mobile home’

Parents of Madeleine McCann deny receiving police letter saying she is deadParents of Madeleine McCann deny receiving police letter saying she is dead

German prosecutor holds out slim hope Madeleine McCann could still be aliveGerman prosecutor holds out slim hope Madeleine McCann could still be alive

McCann family lawyer urges three police forces investigating to work togetherMcCann family lawyer urges three police forces investigating to work together


More in this Section

Acting Lib Dem leader calls for Farage to be investigated over quarantine rulesActing Lib Dem leader calls for Farage to be investigated over quarantine rules

Florida reports record coronavirus cases as US holiday weekend causes concernFlorida reports record coronavirus cases as US holiday weekend causes concern

Boris Johnson’s father defends visit to Greece during lockdownBoris Johnson’s father defends visit to Greece during lockdown

Two women critically injured after car drives through crowd of protesters in SeattleTwo women critically injured after car drives through crowd of protesters in Seattle


Lifestyle

From Tom Waits and Kurt Cobain, to Bertrand Russell and the Big Lebowski, singer Mick Flannery tells Richard Fitzpatrick about his cultural touchstones.Culture That Made Me: Mick Flannery

Esther N McCarthy is starry-eyed for prints, eager for elephants and jealous of a toaster this weekWe're all starry-eyed for prints, eager for elephants and jealous of a toaster this week

Cross rope bridges strung across the Atlantic or visit reimagining of time gone by; whatever you fancy doing, you’ll find it in Ulster.Staycations 2020: Take your pick from these great things to do in Ulster

I can’t eat anything without chilli flakes stuffed into itShape I'm In: Novelis Emma Murray

More From The Irish Examiner